Friday, March 27, 2015

STL County Superintendent Salary Comparisons


Too Long, Didn't Read: Webster Groves pays its superintendent less than most neighboring districts both in terms of real dollars and when normalizing for student population.


I support Propositions S and W. I own two homes in the Webster Groves school district, so I will be doubly affected by this property tax increase.


A Facebook commenter on my last post pointed me to a terrific KSDK story that lists nearly all the superintendent salaries in Missouri.

Below is are graphs of all of the available superintendent salaries of the profiled districts in yesterday's post (Clayton's superintendent's salary wasn't listed in the KSDK story); the student populations; and the salary/student ratio.


The KSDK story implies that Webster Groves' superintendent is overpaid because she manages a much smaller district than (4,568) than St. Louis City (27,017), yet makes a comparable salary: $200,000 (Webster Groves) vs $225,004 (St. Louis City). However, it's important to distinguish between the performance of the two districts. St. Louis City is only provisionally accredited, while Webster Groves is a consistently high performing district.

Given that district performance should be controlled in this analysis, we'll ignore Normandy's ratio as well, since that district lost it's accreditation last year. Thus, Kirkwood ($44.62/student), Ladue ($44.06/student), and Webster Groves ($43.78/student) all have a very similar pay scale. Lindbergh gets a better value for its superintendent at ($39.48/student). 

This metric is probably a poor one for measuring actual superintendent value, but it is easy to understand, so people are likely to reference it. Still, it is encouraging that Webster Groves doesn't overpay its superintendent either in real dollars (3rd out of 4), nor in terms of dollars/student (3rd out of 4).

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